Brendan Fraser and Adam Sandler, costars in 1994 film Airheads, reunited as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors series. Fraser discussed in length the sacrificial attempts to fit into the lead role of George of the Jungle, leading his brain to misfire. 

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“I was waxed. Starved of carbohydrates,” Fraser said. “I would drive home after work and stop to get something to eat. I needed some cash one day, and I went to the ATM, and I couldn’t remember my PIN number because my brain was misfiring. Banging on the thing. I didn’t eat that night.”

Who is Brendan Fraser? 

Brendan James Fraser was born on December 3, 1968, in Indianapolis, Indiana in the United States to Peter Fraser, a travel executive and former journalist, and Carol May, a sales counsellor. 

In his early days of acting, Fraser starred in the show America’s Most Wanted in a minor role and went on to make his film debut in 1991 in Dogfight. Fraser was cast in the lead role in the comedy film Encino Man

He worked in films The Scout, With Honors, and Airheads in 1994. Fraser secured the role of the titular character in The Passion of Darkly Noon, and a year later, he was cast in The Twilight of the Golds. 

He attained mainstream recognition with his comedy flick George of the Jungle. Further, his role in Gods and Monsters (1998) earned him critical acclaim. Fraser’s performance as Rick O’Connell in The Mummy thrust him into a larger magnitude of fame.

In the years that followed, Fraser was featured in films such as The Mummy Returns, Bedazzled, Monkeybone and The Quiet American. He also starred in tv shows like Scrubs and King of the Hill. 

Fraser portrayed the character Rick Cabot in the film Crash in 2004, an Academy Award-winning film that portrayed themes of racism and other social issues. 

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Fraser starred in the Broadway production of the play Elling in 2010, besides acting in Furry Vengeance and Whole Lotta Sole. 

The actor serves on the board of Film Aid International, a non-profit organization. In 2003, he alleged that Hollywood Foreign Press Association (H.F.P.A.) President, Philip Berk had touched him inappropriately, which drew him widespread attention. This incident is attributed to the downfall of his career. 

His most recent work was in the 2022 psychological thriller, The Whale, where he stars alongside noted actors Sadie Sink and Hong Chau. Fraser will be seen in 2023 in the Martin Scorsese film Killers of The Flower Moon alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert de Niro.